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Woodstock Film Festival
Summer Benefit Gala & Auction


You are invited to join us for a 1940's style evening of glamour, fabulous food, enchanting conversation, movies, big band sounds and a live and silent auction with one-of-a-kind film and objects d'art.

Saturday, August 6, 2005 from 6:30 - 10pm at
Wiltwyck Country Club, 404 Steward Lane, Kingston, NY 12401

Benefit tickets: $75
Click here to reserve tickets

For info, email or call 845.679.4265
This event is underwritten by AmeriBag®, Inc.

Maverick Awards are handcrafted
by Steve Heller


The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (Sept. 28 - Oct. 2, 2005) is currently accepting submissions in all categories. Maverick Awards are presented for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, Best Film Score, Best Editing and Best Animation. Cash, prizes and/or services are given out in each category. Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary.

Jurors, and industry participants have included Bob Berney (Newmarket), Eamonn Bowles (Magnolia Pictures), Marc Urman (thinkFILM), Bingham Ray, James Schamus (Focus Features), Fisher Stevens (Greenstreet Productions), John Sloss (Cinetic Media), Ira Deutchman (Emerging Pictures), Ron Mann (Films We Like), John Pierson (Grainy Pictures), Christine Vachon (Killer Films), Peter Saraf (Telegraph Films), Mira Nair, Todd Haynes, Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili Taylor, D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Leon Gast, Liz Garbus, Brett Morgen, Thelma Adams, Robert Downey, Zachary Sklar, Ellen Chenoweth, Annie Nocenti, and many others.

Programmers include Ryan Werner of Wellspring Media and Tom Quinn of Magnolia Pictures (features), Bill Plympton & Signe Baumane (animation), and others.

To apply online, visit online form or use Without A Box

Saturday, May 28 - 8pm
@ Woodstock Community Center

Admission is FREE but we are asking
attendees to either bring food item for
local food pantries or a donation to help
recent fire victims in Saugerties, NY.
Click here for details.

The Woodstock Film Festival joins in the celebration of
the first annual Woodstock ARTS DAY, Saturday May 28,
with an open house and a screening of

A Cinematic Discovery of Street Music
Directed by Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls

Former street musician Jerry Mitnick, who also ran Woodstock's legendary Tinker Street Café in the 80's, will entertain with live music prior to the movie. Bring some change.

Directed by Mark Johnson & Jonathan Walls, PLAYING FOR CHANGE is a 70-minute musical journey of discovery that celebrates the freedom and the lives of street musicians existing in America today. Focusing on the three cities of Los Angeles, New Orleans, and New York, the film brilliantly captures an array of musical styles and human moments that would otherwise slip through the cracks of society. Two of the artists who appear in the film were signed to recording contracts. The soundtrack is available on CD and broadcast rights were recently picked up by the Sundance Channel. For more info about the film, visit PLAYING FOR CHANGE .

“An astonishing sports documentary. The heart
of MURDERBALL is the story of overcoming
injuries and despair, and learning through rehabilitation and training not only to function in the everyday world, but to become Olympians.”
-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Directed by Henry Alex Rubin & Dana Adam Shapiro

The Woodstock Film Festival and WAMC, Northeast Public Radio present "Murderball," Saturday, June 18 - 7pm at the Linda Norris Auditorium , 339 Central Avenue, Albany, NY

Featuring fierce rivalry, stopwatch suspense, and larger-than-life personalities, MURDERBALL, Winner of the Documentary Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize for Editing at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, is a film about tough, highly competitive rugby players. Quadriplegic rugby players. Whether by car wreck, fist fight, gun shot, or rogue bacteria, these men were forced to live life sitting down. In their own version of the full-contact sport, they smash the hell out of each other in custom-made gladiator-like wheelchairs. And no, they don't wear helmets.

Special guest Leon Gast ("When We Were Kings") will be part of a panel following the film.

by Stuart Samuels


Filmmaker Stuart Samuels (formerly of Woodstock) recently premiered his new film MIDNIGHT MOVIES at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

MIDNIGHT MOVIES explores the phenomenon of 1970s cult films. Films such as PINK FLAMINGOS, ERASERHEAD, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD broke subject taboos and launched a new genre.

On June 14, the film will screen at Silverdocs in Silver Springs, MD. After the screening, GOOD MORNING AMERICA film critic Joel Siegel will talk with director Stuart Samuels about the lasting impact of cult films on pop culture.

Winners in Cannes with Hudson Valley ties included:

Actor Tommy Lee Jones won the award for Best Actor for his lead in this first film that he also directed. Written by Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (21 GRAMS), the film also took the award for best screenplay. The film co-stars Hudson Valley resident Mellissa Leo. (Read More)

The Jury's Grand Prize was awarded to Jim Jarmusch for his feature film which was edited in Kingston, NY. The film stars Bill Murray playing a man who discovers for the first time that he had a child 19 years earlier. (Read More)

Reiser and Falk take a break on the edge
of the Esopus in Phoenicia, NY

Coinciding with the world premiere of the company's first release, Gus Van Sant's LAST DAYS in Competition at Cannes, Chris Albrecht (Chairman and CEO, HBO), Michael Lynne (Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, New Line Cinema), Colin Callender (President, HBO Films), and Bob Berney formally unveiled Picturehouse. Founded and jointly owned by HBO and New Line Cinema, Picturehouse is the new theatrical distribution company to be run by Bob Berney, who will serve as its President. The goal for Picturehouse is to be the theatrical distribution company of choice for a wide-ranging community of independent filmmakers, and to deliver a consistently high-quality slate of pictures to audiences.

Picturehouse has acquired the rights to THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS. Directed by Raymond De Felitta (Sundance Audience Award winner TWO FAMILY HOUSE), THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS tells the story of a sudden family crisis which throws a befuddled writer (Paul reiser) and his "loose cannon" dad (Peter Falk)together for an unexpected road trip. Much of the film was shot in New York's Hudson Valley with help from the Woodstock Film Commission.

LAST DAYS is filmmaker Gus Van Sant's meditation on the inner turmoil that engulfs a brilliant, but troubled, musician in the final hours of his life. Michael Pitt (THE DREAMERS, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH) stars as Blake, an introspective artist who is buckling under the weight of fame, professional obligations, and a mounting feeling of isolation. The film was also shot in the Hudson Valley.

Coll Anderson supervises ADR session for


On May 21, CA Sound Inc gathered extras from throughout the Hudson Valley at ArtFarm recording studios to record ADR for the upcoming Merchant Ivory film THE WHITE COUNTESS starring Ralph Fiennes and Natasha richardson.

Extras created background conversations and represented a vast amount of nationalities and dialects including Shangainese, Mandarin, Russian, French and the Kings English.

THE WHITE COUNTESS is set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family. The film is set for a November 2005 release from Sony Pictures Classics.

Chicago International Documentary Festival



Skylight Pictures is very pleased to announce the New York premiere of “State of Fear” as the Opening Night film of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival and the West Coast Premiere will premiere Sunday May 29th at the Amnesty International USA Film Festival, Los Angeles.

The film follows events in Peru, yet it serves as a cautionary tale for a nation like the United States. Filmmakers Pamela Yates, Paco de Onís and Peter Kinoy masterfully blend personal testimony, history and archival footage to tell the story of escalating violence in the Andean nation and how fear of terrorism was used to undermine the democracy, making Peru a virtual dictatorship where official corruption replaced the rule of law.

"stunning" - Chicago Reader

"A brilliant documentary... winner of
SXSW's Special Jury Award for a
Documentary Feature, the film and its award are a testament to Berg's skill as a filmmaker..." - Laura Nathan, The Independent

"eye-opening" - Wendy Mitchell, Indiewire

*Winner of the Special Jury Award at the 2004 SXSW*

Allison Berg's doc premieres in New York City June 3rd, 2005 at 7pm at the Pioneer Theater - 155 East 3rd Street between Avenue A and B

In Ghana, women accused of witchcraft are torn from their families and banished to isolated "witch villages." This film follows accused witches through their daily struggle to survive in the Kukuo Witches Camp in Northern Ghana. As government agencies attempt to abolish this age-old tradition, these women find themselves caught between their society's deeply rooted beliefs and its drive toward modernization. WITCHES IN EXILE captures a country at a dramatic and emotional crossroads.

Allison Berg (Director/Producer), Frank Keraudren (Co-Producer/Editor), and Andy Markham (Music) will be there in person.

Advance tickets can be purchased at Two Boots Pioneer

Visit the official website


Following the special Woodstock Film Festival sneak preview this past April, MAD HOT BALLROOM is opening at theaters acorss the country including The Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock and Upstate Films in Rhinebeck.

The doc, is an inspiring look inside the lives of New York City school kids on a journey into the world of ballroom dancing – a new and unexpected arena where they discover home truths about attitude, movement, style and commitment. Told from the candid, sometimes hilarious perspective of the boys and girls themselves, the picture chronicles their transformation from typical urban kids to “ladies and gentlemen,” as their school teams aim towards a final citywide competition.

The film is directed by part time Hudson Valley resident, Marilyn Agrelo, and was line produced by Brian David Cange, another part time upstate resident, and 2003/04 WFF staffer.

Troy Garity in Allan Mindel's
Woodstock native Michael Brody


Open June 3 at the Angelika in New York City and select theaters across the country.

The past meets the present when Milwaukee’s best fishermen, Albert Burroughs, a young man perceived to be mentally disabled, finds himself the target of two separate con artist out to steal his money.

Having lived his entire life under the watchful eye of his overbearing mother, Albert must fend for himself when an unidentified automobile suddenly kills her. Free for the first time, Albert quickly responds to the bait dangling in front of him, putting his aggressors against one another in a race for his trust. When his one and only friend attempts to intervene, Albert’s compelling history is unveiled, and we learn that nothing is quite what it seems in this Midwestern tale of love and deceit.

For more info, visit MILWAUKEE, MINNESOTA



Robert Stone's remarkable documentary airs on PBS / American Experience on Monday evening, May 23 (check local listings for exact time).

For a limited time there's a special advance offer on the DVD - Directors Cut (an additional 7 minutes) plus loads of extras, directors commentary, etc... - so this is your chance to get the DVD before it hits the stores in September. Follow the link for the DVD or call 1 800 PLAY PBS

An utterly compelling examination of one of
recent history’s more bizarre headline-grabbers.”
–David Todd Schwartz, CBS Radio

“POTENT! A model of the documentary form,
with just the right balance of tension and humor.”
– Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York (voted "Guerrilla" THE BEST FILM OF THE YEAR in the Village Voice critics poll)

– Stephen Holden, NY Times


Nina Shengold's upcoming novel CLEARCUT (Anchor Books, August 2005) has been picking up heat in a variety of ways. Kirkus Reviews called this unconventional love triangle, set in the backwoods counterculture of the Pacific Northwest in the 70s, "Erotically atmospheric... A nouveau hippie tale with boldness and spunk." An excerpt will be nominated for's Henry Miller Award for Best Literary Sex Scene in August. And film rights will be handled by Amy Schiffman of the Gersh Agency in L.A.

Suzi Yoonessi's short film of Shengold's play "No Shoulder," starring Melissa Leo & Samantha Sloyan, will premiere at the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival, where the author will also appear on a panel with authors Kim Wozencraft (WANTED), Paul Hoffman (WINGS OF MADNESS), Joan Schweighardt (GUDRUN'S TAPESTRY) and others. For more information, visit



6-week workshop, July 7th through August 11 th .

The Woodstock Film Festival is presenting a six-week screenwriting workshop with screenwriter/journalist Lisa Katzman in Bearsville. The goal of the workshop is to develop a feature length screenplay. The workshop is limited to eight people.

Workshop activities are geared for beginners as well as for individuals with some experience in this form of dramatic writing. Sessions will be balanced between working on screenplays through a sharing of work, writing exercises, and a discussion of assigned screenplays and films. Participants need a willingness write regularly outside of class, to share work in class, to be open to the process of hearing and giving feedback, and to re-writing. For more details, click here.



Formed by the 1997 merger of alcoholic beverage giant Guinness with food and spirits company Grand Metropolitan, Diageo is the world's largest producer of alcoholic drinks. Its beers and distilled spirits include Guinness Stout, Harp Lager, Johnnie Walker Scotch, Tanqueray gin, and Smirnoff vodka. Diageo helps stock bars and shelves in 200 countries around the globe. The company gained the Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, and VO Canadian brands through its purchase of Seagram's drinks business from Vivendi Universal.


The Woodstock Film Festival is thrilled to have the continued support and sponsorship of AmeriBag®, Inc. for 2005!

Known worldwide as the Home of the Healthy Back Bag® tote, AmeriBag®, Inc. continues to lead the way with innovative, ergonomic (we love that word!) designs, constructed of the finest grades of natural and synthetic materials available. Combining style with cleverly configured pockets, AmeriBags® are available in dozens of styles, colors, sizes and materials to choose from, so whoever you are and whatever you do there is an AmeriBag® for you! For more information, please visit

Markertek is the presenting sponsor of the
2005 Woodstock Film Festival


The 8th Annual Markertek Open charitable golf tournament will be held at noon, on Saturday July 9th at the Nevele Grande. The beneficiary of the 2005 Markertek Open is the Regional Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

The Food Bank of the HV is a branch of the larger Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, which together serve over 900 charitable, member agencies. Each year, the R egional Food Bank provides over 18 MILLION pounds of food to emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, medical rehab, day care and senior centers

To support the Markertek Open & the Food Bank through sponsorship, raffle prizes or donations, please contact Victoria Langling or Patricia Lieske at Markertek 1.800.522.2025 or email or

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501 (C) 3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, diversity, and sustainable economic development through film, video and media production and exhibition. The Woodstock Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.

Want to sponsor the 2005 Woodstock FIlm Festival? For info, call (845) 679-4265
or visit

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